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in the next election? >> racing to control the damage. the president's new chief of staff. >> we will be prepared in the event that the bipartisan tarp is going on the hill, which, by the way, would very aggressively support. if those do not work out, then we'll have an option that will be ready to put up. >> still haggling over hagel. is he home free, or are republicans trying to dig up another issue before next week's vote? >> i think we're doing our job to scrutinize, i think, one of the most unqualified radical choices for secretary of defense in a very long time. >> spoiler alert. the day after downtown. the season finale that's left us all reeling and weeping. >> andrea mitchell live in washington. republican critics say they are prepared to permit a vote on chuck hagel next week, but his opponents are still digging, digging for anything that could still derail the nomination between now and then.
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joining me now for our daily fix, washington post columnist ruth marcus, and nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker. welcome both. first to you, ruth. you've talked -- you've written a lot about hagel and about the ted cruz fell nonnon, and all of the piling on. we now hear in the weekend interviews that there's going to be an interview and they expect it to go through, john mccain and others are going to vote against. we had the votes in terms of the cloture vote on friday, on wednesday, rather, in terms of having 58 votes, but now what is this whole issue of the rutgers speech? >> i think it's all about sort of desperate search to find something. usually when you are asking questions about a nominee, and i'm a really big dlooefr believer in oversight and the advisory process, but usually you have a reason to think there's someone there. this is just scouring the kitchen cabinets and seeing if you can find any little dust
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balls any place, and i think they are just -- you and i have seen it so many times. if you can run out the clock enough, maybe something will come up, and this is just sort of playing for that end of the football game moment of something turning up. he will be confirmed, and i have to say i don't think he performed well at all, to put it mildly, in the hearings. i also think especially this last stretch makes republicans look terrible also. >> let's look at lindsey graham yesterday talking about the rutgers speech and what more could come up. >> allegedly senator hagel said that the u.s. state department was an adjunct of the israeli foreign ministers office, which i think would be breathtaking if he said that to have such a view. i got a letter back from senator hagel in response to my question, did you say that and do you believe that, and the letter said he did not recall saying that, he disavows that
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statement. >> it's not enough for you? >> well, if, in fact, that's true, that would end that matter because he has previously inside a book that the jewish lobby influences the u.s. senate and makes us -- pushes us to make very bad decision. if the second statement were true, he said that the secretary of state's office is under the control of the israeli foreign ministers. those two together would show an edge and a view of the israeli u.s. relationship way out of the mainstream, so i'll just take him at his word medicals something new comes along. >> kristen welker, what does the white house have to say about this? they seem to be confident that he is going to get through next week. >> they continue to be confident, andrea. i can tell you that they believe these questions that are being raised by republicans are pure politics. they have confidence of this confirmation moving forward. i can also tell you according to
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my sources, that administration officials will be working on this, will be in contact with folks on the hill in the coming days to make sure that there aren't any more bumps in the road. of course, every day that this goes on, it's not great for hagel. not great for president obama. they want to see this get resolved as quickly as possible. at this point in time they're still confident. as you know last week, they were holding that cloture vote. vice president biden was reaching tout members on the hill at this point in time. i don't have any education that he is making phone calls this week, but, again, senior administration officials will be engaged in this process in the coming days to make sure that there are no more bumps, andrea. >> and kristen, i know you are still in florida where the president has another day of golf today, although the wind looks like it won't be a great golf day. want to ask you about that in a moment. first, let's look at what john mccain had to say about benghazi. chuck hagel was, of course, not in office during benghazi, but that has been a big issue. this is mccain and david gregory on "meet the press" over
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benghazi. >> we have had a massive coverup on the part of -- >> a massive coverup of what? i mean, susan -- wait a minute. susan rice said there was a lot of confusion. i'm asking you -- >> do you care, david? do you care? i'm asking you. i'm asking you, do you care whether four americans died? >> i just asked you a coverup of what? >> of the information concerning the deaths of four brave americans. the information has not been forthcoming. you can obviously believe that it has. i know that it hasn't. >> of course, benghazi is another issue they're holding against hagel because it gives them leverage. >> right. look, that is a common tactic in washington. we saw it with the brennan nomination actually from the democratic side getting leverage to get some of the information about the legal analysis for drone strikes. so fair game. the thing you have to question here is how much is this about? there's a massive coverup of
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benghazi and how much is it about? we're going to look for anything for hagel. the question that i guess i would have asked senator mccain is if it's such a massive coverup and you are so exercised about it, where -- why weren't you demand this stuff and holding up john kerry's nomination because, all of all, he is going ahead the department he is heading the department that dealt with benghazi. >> good point. he only had three negative votes. one of them ted cruz, the aforever mentioned ted cruise. kristen, you are in florida where we're told the president is golfing on a private course and with, of all people tiger woods over the weekend. 27 holes. no coverage by the white house press corps. in past presidencies there has been at least a photo opportunity at the first tee or later on. that's how we all know about bill clinton's golfing attire and some of the other interesting presidential golf partners. what's going on there because i saw a protest from the white house correspondents association
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against the fact that they would completely shut down and that the travel pool, the group which you know better than anyone, goes with the president and gets that moment or two, a quick picture, has had no visible sighting of the president for the last two and a half days. >> right. well, what happened yesterday, andrea, is that a reporter with golf digest was the first person to tweet out the president was, in fact, golfing with tiger woods. the number two golfer in the world. of course, white house reporters pounced, wanted to be able to confirm that. we didn't get confirmation from the white house until several hours later. as you point out, the republicans who generally travel with the president, the "pool reporters" weren't given access to any pictures or any footage of that game, so the white house press corps association did say that they would ultimately like more access. we did get a reaction from the white house, which said that they handled it in the same manner that they always do,
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which is to release the president's golf partners towards the end of the day, which to be fair is generally what the bhous does. >> kristen, do you generally -- >> as you point out, andrea -- >> i was going to ask, does the pool generally get at least a picture of the president sometime during the match? >> well, it depends. on an average sunday, not necessarily. we have gotten a picture, you'll remember, when president obama played with house speaker john boehner. we it get a picture. in this instance, i think that there was a lot of interest in having a picture because, of course, it was an historic moment. this was the first time that the president played with tiger woods, and we are told, again, according to a golf reporter, that the president said to tiger that he was glad that he was playing better, so there was a lot of interest in what was happening and, of course, of seeing visual representation and at this point having gotten that. andrea. >> of course. questions occur. did they not permit a picture because it's tiger woods and because some people might object to tiger woods and the
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controversy of the past? is it because they didn't want to see the president -- show the president vacationing and he is intigs entitled to a vacation on a weekend we're facing the sequester and the congress is also vacationing? is it because it's his second term, and he is feeling more relaxed about doing things that he really always wanted to do? it's just raising some issues. >> those are certainly some of the -- those are certainly some of the questions that are being raise and that have been raised. as you point out, tiger woods got a lot of negative headlines in recent years, but, of course, the white house pressing back against those types of allegations and making the point that, look, this is a private vacation. the president is at the florian, which is a private golf course, and enjoying his vacation, but, of course, he is in his second term now taking a quick vacation before he heads back to deal with issues like the sequester and immigration, so certainly keeping that image of him playing golf, having a vacation, under wraps at least for now. an trae. >> well, nobody begrudges ruth
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marcus -- nobody begrudges the president some vacation time. >> the president should golf as much as he wants really. i think it's really important for presidents to get downtime. i was just -- and that's just really important. at the same time my response to the white house press office is -- as kristen pointed out, when he is having a golf game that they want publicity about, for example, his famous golf foursome with the speaker of the house, they are very quick to put out a photo of it. this one has lots of reasons that you and kristen mentioned that they might want want a photo out or any other coverage of it, and that's why, and so -- i just think it's unfair to the reporters who were there. >> ruth marcus, kristen welker, come on home, kristen. looks like you had a very cold weekend, by the way. you were bundled up all weekend. i was watching you. >> i was. >> this is not that easy a duty. thanks, kristen. >> there was a cold snap here. >> i know. and senator mccain also was firing back at the white house this weekend over immigration claiming that the white house
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immigration plan could derail bipartisan talks. >> the president obviously has some thoughts about immigration reform, which he has drafted and gotten his agencies to comment on. if the president proceedses legislation, do you think it will fail? >> of course. of course it will. and that's why we are working together. republicans and democrats. by the way, he has had no communications with republicans on the issue, unlike the previous four presidents that i have dealt with. i believe we are making progress on a bipart sfwlan basis. i believe we can woman up with a product. >> and joining us is usa today's alan gomez, the reporter who broke the news of the white house draft plan on immigration, and telemundo's jose diaz bullart. this was your story. you got the scoop and set off left arm bells all over washington. republicans, marco rubio, who they absolutely have to have to have a bipart sfwlan plan go
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forward, first calling foul. then, of course, john mccain and others, lindsey graham on the sunday talk shows. first of all, what is in the president's plan that might set the republicans on edge? >> well, what's in the plan right now is no different than what he's been talking about the last few months. there's an earned path to citizensh citizenship. there is enhanced border security. there's a nationwide e-verify program that allows business workers to check the legal status of their perspective workers. i don't think there was anything different than what they've been talking about for the last few months. >> jose, it's true that as john mccain pointed out the president has met with chuck schumer and the other democrats in that bipart sflan group. he did not meet with the republicans. for them to now be faced with this leak -- it was a scoop by usa today. not anything that the white house is putting out, but alan here, you know, worked very hard with his sources to get it on saturday afternoon, and so that
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blindsideded the republicans. that does create a political problem going forward. not a substantive problem, perhaps. >> i couldn't agree with you more, and kudos to alan for getting that story. the president has yet to meet, as far as i understand, with any republicans, either in the senate or in the house of representatives that are working on this bipartisan effort to reach immigration reform. that includes senator rubio in the senate, but it also includes the members of the house that are working on immigration reform. what the president in this story that alan broke suggests legislatively is really month different than alan says, he has been promoting now for two and a half weeks now since his speech many las vegas. the day after that speech i spoke with the president, the white house, and he said he already had this plan written. we know it's there. we know it's written. we know he is ready to file it if things break down. the question is the timing of this leak. is it now a time to say here are
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the specifics of a proposal that i will present if you fail before they have even failed? >> the timing was really based on alan having gone to his sources and gotten it. the white house was really upset because they did not want this outs. this was not a timed leak per se. it was basically your reporting. the bottom line is as jose was just saying, he has not met with any republicans, and how does he build support for the plan? i know from talking to some of the democrats involved that he has told them if you guys can't come up with legislative strategy in a couple of months, i'm ready. i've got my plan. but now how do they get back on track? >> well, i think like you were mentioning, their plan all along has been to craft this, to have this ready as a backup plan. to hear republicans talk the last couple of days, the only way this can get back on track is if he follows through on that, and he keeps us back and lets congress sort of lead the way on this. i mean, there's bipartisan
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negotiations going on in both the senate and the house to craft their own versions of the bill. they're actively doing that right now. if we start seeing those proposals moving through congress, then that sort of clears the way for that opportunity. >> let me switch gears for just a second. jose, while you're there, let me ask you about what's happening in venezuela because in caracas we have seen a picture in havana with his daughters. how healthy is he, and what are we expecting to hear, because we're hearing from venezuela that there may be some announcement, an update on his health later today. >> yes, indeed, an trdreaandrea. they are expecting an announcement from the government later today, and those are the pictures that the government published some days ago from his hospital bed in havana. i think one of the advantages for the chavez government has been to have its leader in cuba because since there is no free press, there is no way of determining exactly what his condition is.
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now they say -- >> exactly. >> -- he was flown back at 2:00 in the morning to caracas. is he in the military hospital in caracas, and an unusual thing for the chavez government, no video cameras, no coverage of the president arriving or the ambulance taking him to the airport -- to the hospital or really it's been a silence and a no video movement from havana to caracas. let's see what the government says today. clearly hugo chavez is not doing well enough to be able to either walk down the steps of the escalator, of the airport -- airplane or even maybe to speak, so there's a lot of questions underway. remember, he has to be sworn in because from his last re-election, the constitution said he had to be sworn in in venezuela, and because he was in cuba, that didn't happen. we'll see now what the next step is for a government that really right now is on very shady constitutional grounds. >> indeed. jose diaz ballart from
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telemundo, thank you very much. alan gomez, again, congratulations. great scoop. >> what do immigration reform advocates have to say? jan, president of the nation's largest hispanic civil rights group joining us next. and later, will the vatican call an earlier conclave? you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. for tapping into a wealth of experience. for access to one of the top wealth management firms in the country. for a team of financial professionals who provide customized solutions. for all of your wealth management and retirement goals, discover how pnc wealth management can help you achieve. visit to find out more. is moving backward. [ engine turns over, tires squeal ] and you'll find advanced safety technology like an available heads-up display on the 2013 lexus gs.
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joining me is the leader of a major civil rights group janet, president and ceo of the national council of larazza. thank you. great to see you. >> nice to see you. >> what is your nabbeding of the white house how they plan to make this happen? you have been in meetings in the
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white house, and you know what their game plan is. they did not expect this leak, but now how do they get things back on track? >> well, i think that there's clearly a lot of momentum that the white house wants to continue to keep up. frankly, time is not our friend. i think the president has made it clear, as he did in nevada we made the announcement around the bill that he has had a draft and would have a draft ready to go. i think it's a compliment for senator marco rubio and senator mccain who have been leading efforts on the republican side to say wait a minute give us a chance to keep moving our bipartisan effort forward, but it's equally legitimate for the president to say i want to have a marker out there and if things sort of derail or end up taking too long, then he can have an option of putting his bill forward. these are healthy tensions right now that we as advocates see as really important to achieving a bipartisan solution, and it is essential that we have a bipartisan solution.
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i think what we're seeing played out is just the making of legislation. what we want to make sure happens quickly is that a bill does get introduced, and for us we know that we have to work hard to make sure that it will be a bipartisan bill that actually moves forward. >> partly because, as john mccain said, if it isn't bipartisan, it's not going to work, it's not going happen. we've seen how if things are not supported, you see how that is on a whole lot of issues. let's talk about the substance of the president's proposal. he is talking about an eight-year wait and then getting behind the back of the line. now, we're told that, for instance, immigrants from mexico have a 16-year wait as it is. does it help people to get in the back of the line? is this too long a wait from your perspective? >> well, i think that that is really going to be at the heart of this legalization with the path to citizenship is how that gets negotiated, what are the right time frames and how does
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it get structured? the key here, andrea, if we're going to look at a silver lining, had i think is really important, is that so far both sides have said that it is essential. senator marco rubio has said that it is essential that we have legalization with the path to citizenship. the president has made it clear that that has to be an essential component as well. what is very positive is that we have an overlap here around a central component of what would be a bipartisan bill. now, obviously there's a lot of details to be worked out, and that's going to be one of the most important ones, and it's hard to say how that's going to turn out right now. we want it to be a reasonable and meaningful path to citizenship, and one that's actually measurable where we won't see the goal post moves as it's tied to other contingencies or it could be. >> one of those contingencies is some proposals have an annual certification that the borders are "safe." how do you determine that all the borders of the u.s. are
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secure. >> it's really important that we have smart and workable enforcement as part of any comprehensive immigration bill that goes forward, but, again, how those benchmarks are measured and what it means is something that's going to be very important because we have seen the goal post move when it comes to enforcement in the past, and the reality is we've seen billions, $18 billion invested, in strengthening our borders just in the last year. more investments in that area than all the other federal enforcement agencies combined. for us it's going to be really important that that be a tangible and meaningful benchmark and not one that can be easily moved. it's really important for us to recognize that a lot has been done on enforcement the. we want smart enforcement going forward, but it has to be real, and we can't see these goal posts continue to move. >> thank you so much, janet. great to see you. thanks for the update. >> thank you. >> meanwhile, in south africa oscar pistorius is set to appear in court tomorrow for a bail hearing.
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the same day as the funeral for his explain girlfriend, reeva steenkamp. nbc's ragit joins me now. you saw all the emotion in the court the other day. he will be back in court tomorrow. a lot of leaks from police sources and others about -- we heard about the bloody cricket bat and other things. it sounds like both sides trying to leak to the media very much competitive points of view as to what happened. >> it really does. we expect that both of those sides might be presented to the court tomorrow. oscar pistorius' bail hearing. a great deal of speculation. talk about the potential relevance of a bloodied cricket bat, which according to reports was found at the scene. there is speculation about a blood and even drug tests which have taken place. to add to the speculation, i
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spoke directly today with oscar pistorius's best friend, a man who introduced him to reeva steenkamp, and he said he had a panicked phone call from him just after the shooting. he raced to the home, and oscar pistorius' instruction when he got there, the police had locked it down, but he is adamant that oscar pistorius is innocent, that he believed that his girlfriend was, in fact, an intruder and that this is what he described as a tragic accident. yes, andrea, a great deal of speculation going on here as the focus moves from here, the police station where oscar pistorius is in custody spending his fifth night tonight in custody ahead of tomorrow's hearing to the courthouse tomorrow where he will be brought in the morning for what we expect will be yet another emotional trial. here he is given one hour of visiting time. other previous days he has had his lawyers, his relatives who
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have come to see him on occasion they've come out and made statements and said that actually he is totally innocent, and his agent too who came over the weekend and said that he was innocent too and also added that his sponsors were completely behind him, draen. >> thank you so much. it's going to be a big day in court tomorrow. we'll see you there. coming up next here, the sequester showdown. our political briefing up next. e can keep this car fresh, we loaded it with fast food, sweaty hockey gear, and a smelly dog cage. and parked it at a mall. in texas. for two days. then put a febreze car vent clip on the dash and let in real people. it smells good. like laundry fresh out of like the dryer. yeah. a man fresh out of the shower. nailed it. oh yeah. proof. febreze car vent clips keep your car fresh. another way febreze helps you breathe happy. because every flake is double-toasted... splashed with sweet honey... and covered in rich double-roasted peanuts.
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anding the white house seem to be playing a game of political chicken with $85 billion and across the board budget cuts at stake. less than two weeks from now. join me for today's political briefing politico's jake sherman. we've seen this before, and this one doesn't seem as dramatic because things won't sort of happen right away by the end of march then we have the resolution and another deadline. the bottom line is that the bhous is putting out its scare list, if you will, from their
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perspective. these are the big, bad cuts that are going to affect people. what are they talking about particularly? >> meat inspectors, faa, flight controlors. >> pre-k. >> pre-k. national parks. you're talking about a broad swath of things that will get slash iffed they can't figure out how to solve the sequester. as you said, we're in polar corners right now. there's nothing going on. hardly any talks. john boehner and harry reid met last week, and they emerged from the meeting saying the same line that they're saying publicly to reporters. they said privately. the senate needs to move is john boehner's message sfwloosh the fact is that both sides blaming the other. they all signed on because the sequester was approved as a matter of legislation, but it was, as bob woodward reports in his book, it was a white house proposal to the hill to get past a previous budget crisis. >> one of the most curious lines in washington right now that this is obama's sequester. yes, the president might have proposed it. house republicans pushed it through their chamber, and the senate pushed it through the senate. it's really everybody's responsibility.
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all hands were on deck in 2011 when they did this. now, both sides have political advantages to stay where they are. the senate needs taxes. house republicans cannot put any tax revenue in this equation because john boehner passed tax increases with the fiscal cliff and cannot afford to do it again politically. it's too difficult for him. >> what about what's happening inside the caucus? the sort of rivalries, cantor and boehner and paul ryan sort of moving up on the inside? who is the most influential player right now in that caucus when it comes to budget decisions? >> it's john -- still it's three people. john boehner, eric cantor, and paul ryan, and paul ryan and cantor are going to keep boehner to the right. i mean, cantor and ryan's advisors have told us privately there is no opening for tax revenue in this deal at all. i'm want sure if john boehner would do it independently of them, but the people that we've seen who have been completely ineffective are the people on the house armed services committee, the people who make these decisions usually, but the chairman has not been able to
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sway boehner at all. we've seen the stalemate because of that, and cantor and rooen are going to keep boehner on the right. >> people outside the process are saying this is the dumbest way to do business, to have a meat ax approach and have across the board cuts. yes, it does achieve some budget savings, but does it not in any kind of intelligent way of planning. >> which is why if you talk to the people on capitol hill, the people who are making these decisions, they say that down the road if there are huge economic damages -- i mean, we don't really know what's going to happen to the economy if the sequester stays in place. the theory is it's going to be pretty bad. congress could back fill some of those cuts april or may or down the road, could dump them a little bit more money to the pentagon and try to offset some of the damages. right now we really don't know, and there's really no one that has proposed anything that could pass both chambers at this point. >> jake sherman, thank you very much. good to see you. >> with our politico briefing. coming up next, to the vatican.
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s will the vatican now fast track the election of the new pope? we're live in rome next. ann thompson coming up right here on "andrea mitchell reports." [ male announcer ] here's a word you should keep in mind. unbiased. some brokerage firms are. but way too many aren't. why? because selling their funds makes them more money. which makes you wonder -- isn't that a conflict? search "proprietary mutual funds." yikes! then go to e-trade. we've got over 8,000 mutual funds, and not one of them has our name on it. we're in the business of finding the right investments for you. e-trade. less for us. more for you. the fund's prospectus contains its investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information and should be read and considered carefully before investing. for a current prospectus, visit
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zirnl more than 50,000 people kwaerd in st. peter's square to hear one of the pope's final public blessings. he delivered sunday prayers in six different lainksz and in spanish. he asked the faithful to pray for him and the future pope. >> nbc's ann thompson joins me now from rome. ann, the fact that he said that in spanish set off a flurry of rumors that he was signalling some support for a latin american pope. i think i saw on the "today"
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show this morning put that to rest. >> yes. well, in fact, andrea, it set off rumors because he spoke in six different languages during that blessing, and it was only in spanish that he asked the people to pray for himself and the future pope. you know, nature abhors a vacuum, and so does the vatican. people are looking will for tea leaves. >>. >> he was just offering a prayer. but that gives you an idea of the kind of speculation that is going around here because, quite frankly, at this week not much is going on. the pope is at a week-long retreat in the vatican behind me, and so we're all waiting to hear when the conclave will
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begin. there is possibility it could be moved up, but we don't have the definite date right now. it's scheduled to start sometime between march 15th and march 20th. if it gets moved up, it takes the authority of the pope to do that. he can actually set the new date himself or he can sign over the authority to the dean of the college of cardinals, and that's what we're waiting to see if that happens. andrea. >> ann, i was fascinated by your reporting last night about the impact -- the burden, really, of the whole fight over reform, and the fact that he was a bad manager. you know, this holy man deeply intellectual, deeply spiritual man by all accounts really did not manage and continued the mismanagement that had preceded him from the final years of john paul ii and that that whole scandal, the butlers leak, the controversy over whether or not coming to washington was really to remove a potential reformer. how much is the curia a problem here, and is that something that would be fixed with the next
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pope, or is this going to be a choice that doesn't really deal with that issue? >> andrea, i will tell you that every vatican watcher that i have spoken to has said the next pope has to come in and clean house in the curiate. they feel -- this is person after person that i have spoken to feels that the curia has really done a disservice to pope benedict xvi, and i think what was clear in that washington post article is that his butler gave those documents over to the investigative reporter here in italy not as a way to hurt pope benedict but, rather, to show all the infighting and betrayal that goes -- that has gone on in the curia and that was an impediment to the reforms that benedict tried to put in place. the big focus of his papacy has been the re-evangilization to get catholics particularly in western europe and in north america excited again about
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their faith. to say anything that the next pope needs to clean house -- >> it's a communication strategy, something this pope hasn't had. andrea. >> ann thompson. >> for the tenth anniversary of the iraq war. it's been a decade, and tonight msnbc is air this documentary -- in this excerpt prosecute the film congress votes to give president bush the authority to launch a war against iraq when his secretary of state colin powell has the doubts on that war. >> joint resolution is passed. without objection -- >> the vote is overwhelming. the margin is more than 3-1 in the senate. it's more than 2-1 in the house. the president is officially given a free hand.
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>> the days of iraq acting as an outlaw state are coming to an end. >> powell walked into my office, and without so much as a fair-thee-well, and he said i wonder what will happen when we put 5,000 troops in iraq and comb the country from one end to the other and find nothing? he turned around and walked back if his office. i wrote that down on my calendar as close to verbatim as i could because i thought that was a profound statement coming from the secretary of state, former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. >> the documentary hubris selling the iraq war airs tonight hosted by rachel maddow. jake's very private world. at first, jake's family thought they saved ziggy, but his connection with jake has been a lifesaver. for a love this strong, his family only feeds him iams. compared to other leading brands, it has 50% more animal protein... help keep ziggy's body as strong as a love that reaches further than anyone's words.
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th them, but at the same time i wish i had a father who was around and involved. >> president obama speaking very personally in his hometown of chicago on friday keeping up the pressure for new guns law in a city that has suffered 506 murders in 2012 and more than 40 in just the last month alone. joining me now susan paige, usa today washington bureau chief, "new york times" deputy bureau chief elizabeth and national journal congressional correspondent chris fraitz. thank you all very much. susan, the president did seem very emotional in that speech, much more personal, and he has really kept up the pressure for some action on guns. he has spoken of it a couple of times a week for the last couple of weeks. certainly at the state of the union it was the high point emotionally of that speech. >> it's interesting to hear the comments on friday because it's so rare that we hear that
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president is talking that personal way about his own father. i think this issue of gun control is one that he is sticking with to a degree that i think is a surprise to a lot of people, and we heard senator mccain say yesterday that he thought there was a good chance that universal background checks will get through the senate. now, that doesn't mean that it gets through the house, which is a tougher venue, and, of course, that is the only measure that we think there is a pretty good chance for expanding the background checks to include gun shows and other private gun sales. i think there's something that is possible that will happen this year, and, of course, what has it been a decade or so, more than a decade, since we have seriously talked about gun control on this panel. >> and what they have are separate bills which does give some little room for the people to take a vote, they can vote against the assault weapon ban or vote for background checks. they are taking it piece by piece here deliberately. >> that's true, but what i think -- i want to talk about the president's remarks. s he is talking -- he is reaching out over congress to a
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large degree and reaching out to the public. these are very personal remarks that we had a great story about this weekend, and i think it's just too -- when you look at the polls, 90% of the public agrees with background checks. it's -- you know, there's a great frustration with congress. i think he is going to keep up the pressure. he is seeing this with groups like bloomberg. are you seeing this with the gabby giffords' pact. this is a groundswell in the country that he is trying to tap into. >> well, we figure out whose cell phone -- it could even be mine. let's go on. chris fraitz, talk about, we have another senate republican resignation. mike johann is announcing. that is a safe republican seat, but it could make for an interesting primary. >> oh, absolutely. we have, you know, yet another moderate republican who is kind of throwing in the towel after just one term. of course, he is a former g. i don't think democrats are looking at this as a pick-up,
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but i think it's just another indication of how some of the kind of more moderate members of the congress are throwing in the towel. the cycle we saw a number of other similar announcements, and i wanted to go back a little bit to gun control, andrea. just because it's interesting when you talk about inside washington. we've had the president working outside. inside washington we have chuck schumer and tom coburn, who is -- who are working very closely. they had hoped to have a deal on background checks before the end of last week, before this recess. they were very close, and republicans and democrats were telling me they think they can get something that would have bipartisan support from joe manchin, democrat from west virginia, and mark kirk, a illi very moderate bipartisan senators bringing toward a bill. i would look for that after this week -- long recess is over. and also i would look to colorado today where you have the house of representatives who
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are putting a sweeping background check on the floor for a final vote. and a cap on magazine rounds, 15 rounds per magazine. that's a very moderate, you know, kind of purple state. i cover colorado politics for five or six years. and it's interesting to me to watch democrats who are essentially out there very much like east coast republicans pushing this forward. joe biden called four moderate state lawmakers on a democratic side to say please vote for this. so you have the white house involved there, too. trying to create some pressure to move this inside washington game outside. >> and susan pedro, i wanted to ask you as a long-time washington house correspondent and the bureau chief for "usa today," your take on the total blackout of any kind of photos of the president golfing this weekend with tiger woods. the press -- the white house correspondents' association has protested, the white house has pushed back. but it does seem as though they
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were really shut out. do you see an issue there, and why do you think the white house did that? >> i think the president has an obligation to explain himself to the american people. they have news conferences and do interviews. i'm inclined to think -- i'm less inflamed with the idea he would have a round of golf as being president. although playing golf with someone like tiger woods, everybody is going to want to see a picture of that. put a puck at your out. what's the big deal? >> the big deal may be that tiger woods is still controversial. >> that's true. i would say we had a great story by jackie collins this morning in "the times" who was down there, one of the reporters enormously frustrated. we would never have seen this trip a year ago, during election year. you can tell the president has won re-election. he's down in a very exclusive resort days after reaching out to middle class americans, working class americans in the state of union address and now in this very exclusive resort. it's also very much a boys' weekend. and no women around. the family is out skiing in the
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west. and he's down there with the boys. and he's come under a lot of pressure and criticism for his male insider circle. so -- >> the optics of it. thank you very much, elizabeth miller and susan page. and chris. we'll be right back. nobody insures more bikes than progressive.
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and ruth marcus is back to bring it home. let's talk about something that happened last night. and no spoiler alert. we're not going to talk about the actual fact but it was the last episode of ""downton abbey," and it left us all distraught. >> distraught is a good word. there has been a lot for us "downton abbey" fans to cope with this season. and also i really hate the wait. to find out what -- where things go from here. >> our household, a lot of emotion. ruth marcus, see you soon. thank you very much. and that does it for us for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." if you haven't seen it, bring a lot of kleenex.
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and "news nation" is next with thomas roberts.
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Andrea Mitchell Reports
MSNBC February 18, 2013 10:00am-11:00am PST

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Washington 13, Us 13, Hagel 7, John Boehner 6, John Mccain 5, Ruth Marcus 5, Andrea Mitchell 5, Kristen 5, Oscar Pistorius 5, Mccain 4, Caracas 4, Vatican 3, Kristen Welker 3, Boehner 3, Ann Thompson 3, Paul Ryan 3, Phillips 3, Marco Rubio 3, Benedict 3, Campbell 3
Network MSNBC
Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Virtual Ch. 787 (MSNBC HD)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 1920
Pixel height 1080
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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on 2/18/2013